How to Negotiate Repairs After a Home Inspection

How to Negotiate Repairs After a Home Inspection

A home inspection is one of the essential steps in every home-buying process. It’s also part of the strategy of every intelligent buyer. A home inspection is a moment to detect any necessary repairs and convince the seller to do them before you close the sale.

two people negotiate repairs after a home inspection

Even though this is one of the final steps in the process, you shouldn’t underestimate its importance. A home inspection can reveal some serious issues about the property, and fixing those problems can be costly. That’s why you need to negotiate repairs after a home inspection, ensuring you don’t have a lot of additional costs after the purchase. Here you’ll need some negotiation skills but also the knowledge of common home inspection scenarios. Luckily, you’re in the right spot – here’s everything to know about negotiating with the seller and making this purchase a success.

Why is a home inspection important?

No matter how much you love a home and want to move in as soon as possible, you shouldn’t skip a home inspection. It’s a critical step that can reveal some issues with the house you can’t easily notice, but that can potentially cause much more serious problems. These aren’t only costly, but they also can be very dangerous, too. Common home inspection issues include faulty wiring, drainage issues, faulty foundation, plumbing issues, mold, pests, and so much more. If any of these arise during the inspection, be sure to let the buyer know and try to negotiate the repairs.

What to expect from a home inspector?

First-time buyers are often not sure what they should expect from their home inspector. Before you go into the negotiation process, be aware of the following:

  • A home inspector won’t give you advice on whether or not you should go and buy a property
  • Home inspectors detect the issues, yet they are not eligible to estimate the repair costs or give you advice on negotiating the price
  • The home inspection reviews the condition of the property you want to buy, not telling you whether or not you should get it. The final decision will depend on your impression of the property as well as the course of the negotiation process

As the home inspector can’t give you details on the costs, you need to look for that information elsewhere. It’s best to contact a general contractor, as they can give you some numbers and provide you with a reasonable estimate.

a person putting a sign on a sold houseThe success of the sale will depend on the negotiation.

How to negotiate repairs after a home inspection?

After you get the results of the home inspection, it’s time to make a decision. You can either make the purchase without any additional steps, negotiate the repairs or pass on the property in case there are more issues than you expected. If negotiation is your choice, here are some great tips to win.

Be reasonable

Avoid being too demanding when you try to negotiate with the seller, as you can make them give up on the sale. It’s best to make a copy of the review and send a copy to your agents. Expert agents have more experience with homes in the area, so they can give you a recommendation for repairs you should ask for. Also, don’t forget that the market situation can affect how aggressive you can be with negotiation. If there are multiple buyers making offers for the same property, the seller won’t be that flexible in the negotiation process.

two people shaking handsBe reasonable to reach an agreement.

Deal with priorities first

A home inspection will tell you about both serious and less serious repairs around the property. However, you should review and see what issues have the highest priority. The problems that come with serious health or safety issues should be the ones the seller should fix as soon as possible. These include mold, arsenic in water, radon, rusted electric panel, broken or no railings on the deck, etc. Other serious issues include leaking roofs, as well as termites in window or door structures. If there are some low-priority problems, such as bad faucets or clogged gutters, offer to fix them yourself if the seller agrees to deal with the severe issues. Forcing the negotiation process on every little detail may be counterproductive, and you may risk losing a great home.

Don’t forget: moving into your new home is a complex process, and security should be one of the top priorities. Experts from recommend that you never underestimate the importance of researching good moving teams. Buying a home is indeed a stressful and busy period, which maximizes the risk of hiring a bad moving team. Do the necessary research and get recommendations to be sure your belongings are transferred as safely as possible.

Understand the nature of the process

It’s true that when you’re buying a home, you expect that it’s perfect. However, that’s not always the truth. There are great homes with certain issues, and you can try negotiating with the seller to deal with them after the inspection. However, you shouldn’t forget that the seller is not obliged to make all the repairs you want them to. It’s okay to get a bit emotional in the process, as buying a home is often stressful for both parties. That’s why it’s important to be rational in these situations and, if necessary, take a step back and think for a moment. Take a realistic look at the house you are about to purchase and make a list of the pros and cons. If the advantages you notice are more important than the issues discovered in the home inspection, maybe it’s better not to be that aggressive with your demands.

Remember: it’s essential to understand the seller’s point of view. It will be much easier to understand their decisions and know what to expect. It’s normal that you two don’t have the same priorities, so putting yourself in the seller’s shoes will make negotiation a lot simpler.

Try to negotiate a credit

If a couple of major projects need to be done around the new house, it may be a good idea to negotiate credit. You may get the job done by the seller, yet it may not be exactly what you want from the house. That’s why it’s better to try to negotiate some credit and get the money to do the project yourself. This way, you’ll save the seller a lot of time and be completely satisfied with all the work. However, as you’re doing renovation and repairs yourself, make sure you prepare your home for this project. Storing all the belongings away in a storage unit during a remodel can make the process easier, as you’ll have less to clean, and you’ll minimize the risk of damaging your items during the renovation.

a new home sign on a white backgroundNew home – new you!


It’s not always easy to negotiate repairs after a home inspection, as it’s important to find a perfect balance between the seller and the buyer. Both sides have different priorities, but with a positive attitude, both can reach an agreement that’s beneficial for everyone involved.

By Mary Aspen Richardson

If you are thinking of Selling click here for a FREE PROPERTY APPRAISAL 


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